Happy Monday Romancers!

Boy do I have something different for you today, on this beautiful Monday morning! We are taking a break from our usual DC area engagement session feature to share a different sort of wedding ceremony ~ a Sudanese Wedding Bead Ceremony, courtesy of IYQ Photography [one of my absolute favorite Richmond VA wedding photographers]. Kimie is just the bees knees and she is always sending me unique & alternative wedding features to share. This one is no different.

Kimie teased the ancient, awesome ceremony with this:

It was held at the bride’s parents house and was very DIY (her family made all of food, set up all the tents, chairs, etc). The actual ceremony was held in her parents den and even though they were down for me to come and shoot I felt like I was watching an ancient super secret ceremony. It was so packed and so intense in the room I almost felt like I was going to pass out from the heat and adrenaline.

Sounds pretty intense, but equally awesome. Let’s get this Monday rolling.

A Sudanese Wedding Bead Ceremony in Maryland

From the bride, Yathrib:

The traditional Sudanese wedding ceremony is held for the groom’s family to meet the bride’s family. Blessings of longevity, prosperity and fertility are given to the couple by the elders of both families. I was dressed in traditional Sudanese wedding attire; which includes red silk, gold, and jewels. While my husband also dressed in traditional groom attire of white linen. My hands and feet were adorned with bridal henna patterns. The ceremony involves being anointed in sandalwood oil, joining the couple together with a string of beads, and the lighting of incense. The ritual also includes the use of dates, henna, and pure milk; each item symbolizing an aspect of marriage.

Click inside for the rest of the images from this truly amazing wedding ritual. The reception included even more family involvement!

My uncle, cousins, nephews, and brothers helped pitch the tents and hang the paper lanterns and other decor. My aunts arranged the fruit trays and other platters. Women in the local Sudanese community baked all of the cookies, pastries and desserts. My mother and I worked on the little candy favors to pass out to the guests. My mother’s cousin performed the bead exchange ceremony. It truly was a family focused event!

the beautiful bride!


There is a sense of  mystique to these pictures that I just love – it probably grows from my utter lack of understanding/knowledge/awareness on Sudanese culture and specifically, wedding traditions for Sudanese couples.

But I couldn’t be happier to share these pictures here and reaffirm my commitment to showcasing ALL kinds of weddings in the DC area, not just the ones we traditionally think of. Thanks again to Kimie from IYQ Photography for sharing :)




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